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____ Wednesday December 9, 2015 ____

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Smart Growth

Smart Growth Waterloo REgion Pleased By Provincial Land Use Report

Waterloo Region – Smart Growth Waterloo Region is pleased by recommendations to strengthen smart growth in Ontario from a provincial advisory panel led by David Crombie.

The report, from the advisory panel created by the provincial government for its 2015 Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review, was released Monday. The panel’s 87 recommendations include increasing targets for accommodating more people in new and existing urban areas, mapping and protecting an integrated agricultural system, and extending provincial protections to sensitive areas like moraines and groundwater recharge areas.

“We’re encouraged that the provincial advisory panel has recognized the principles that we in Waterloo Region have already been putting into practice,” said Mike Boos, co-founder of Smart Growth Waterloo Region and Kitchener resident. “Waterloo Region has been leading the way with local efforts to grow up instead of out, and to create more liveable urban areas while protecting our countryside. We’re glad to see recommendations that support similar policies across a large part of Ontario.”

The Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review was initiated earlier this year by the Province of Ontario, with a mandate to examine the four plans that govern land use in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the area spanning the west side of Lake Ontario.

“While we’re excited to see a strong endorsement of the goals of smart growth, we’re looking forward to specific proposals from the provincial government to put this great vision into practice,” said Kevin Thomason, group co-founder and rural Wilmot resident. “Thousands of people from across the province participated in the consultations leading up to this report, and they have been clear that these important provincial policies need to be strengthened. Now we need to make it happen.”

The second phase of the provincial review, including a second round of community consultation, is expected in early 2016.

Smart Growth Waterloo Region (www.smartgrowthwaterloo.ca) is a grassroots group started in 2013 by community members to raise awareness and support for local and provincial smart growth policies.

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